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10-13-2007, 01:01 PM   #1
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Tricks for better focusing with K100D?

I use a K100D to shoot indoor concerts in venues with horrible lighting. I've found that I miss a bunch of shots due to either my own failure to properly manual focus, or the auto-focus locking on to something not quite where I want. For example, the AF will lock on to a microphone stand in front of the performer rather than the performer, but the performer looks in focus on the viewfinder and I don't want to miss a shot, so I shoot. I've adjusted both the camera settings and my technique to try and account for this with some degree of success, but I'm wondering what more can be done.

So, does anyone have suggestions for improving my percentage of properly focused shots? I've heard tell of some accessories that might help, like the magnifying eyecup, but with that I'm worried about the vignetting. I've also seen people mention replacement focusing screens like the Katz Eye, but I can't really tell if these would help my particular situation.

10-13-2007, 01:55 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jro Quote
I use a K100D to shoot indoor concerts in venues with horrible lighting. I've found that I miss a bunch of shots due to either my own failure to properly manual focus, or the auto-focus locking on to something not quite where I want. For example, the AF will lock on to a microphone stand in front of the performer rather than the performer, but the performer looks in focus on the viewfinder and I don't want to miss a shot, so I shoot.
I also do a lot of live music photos - when I use my K100D I have center focus set. As I shoot I look for the momentary red square to be on the right spot (eg: the performer's eye) hold that pre-focus, and then wait for the right moment before tripping the shutter.

Just this last Wednesday I took Little Feat - at their radio show/sound check and the actual show -

Little Feat - 2007

Mostly just on "P", and an occassional shot with flash at 1/10sec on Tv (shutter priority) - all AF on central focus - I don't think a single shot was out of focus or mis-focussed - but I've done this for quite a while.


I have LOTs of photos of live music -
from this year alone -

http://unknownvincent.shutterfly.com

the majority are on a Canon S80 or S70 compact (my camera of choice in smaller clubs/venues) -
but some were on the Pentax K100D.

eg:

Sparrow Trio - 2007
(all the shots in very poor lighting)

South 70 - 2007
(names with 070420 and 070706)

Squat - 2007
(names with 070324 a mix when I was trying out the K100D along side with the Canon S70)

Susan Tedeschi - 2007
(names with 070424)

Last edited by UnknownVT; 10-14-2007 at 09:33 AM. Reason: added "hold that pre-focus"
10-13-2007, 01:57 PM   #3
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Don't worry about vignetting occurring with an eye cup or a Katz Eye. It occurs because of the lens, which is of course on the other side of the camera

But you must have known that already right jro.
Your just testing us

Plus I understand that vignetting is easy to correct anyways, and theres a good chance that you'll have to crop the pictures which would most likely eliminate any.
10-13-2007, 08:52 PM   #4
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Something you might want to try.

1. Set your camera to center point focus, see page 128.

2. The OK button can be set in one of four different ways that might help you, see page 126, 129. You can use the OK button to energize the autofocus on a specific point of the subject. When you press the shutter release button the focus will not change. You can also set the OK button to lock the focus, in this mode the shutter release button acts normally. When the OK button is pressed and held the autofocus is turned off. When you release the button autofocus will act as normal.
Either one of these two modes might help you. It will allow you to focus on a central point, and then reframe and take your shot.
Otherwise the camera will continuously focus on what ever it can lockon to.

I also recommend that you use center point metering page 136.
This will help you get the best exposure regardless of the background.

I hope this helps.

joe1955

10-14-2007, 07:59 PM   #5
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Thanks joe1955 for the tip! I think this is very useful.

Previously, I use my k100D in an outdoor concert and the AF always lock on the front speakers instead of the singer. Many others feel that I have a front focus problem. Sent the unit with all my pentax lenses to service centre, and pentax technician concurr that it is front/back focus problem. They now calibrated all my pentax lenses with the body using computer.

Jro, perhaps you should investigate this further?

I think joe1955's focus locking method would be very useful. I will try this out when an opportunity arises.
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